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Women’s College Basketball: Crooks, Belanger lead Iowa State past Cincinnati, 76-60

AMES – Iowa State (18-10, 12-6 Big 12) took the senior day victory over Cincinnati (13-16, 5-13 Big 12) by a final of 76-60 Saturday afternoon.

AMES – Iowa State (18-10, 12-6 Big 12) took the senior day victory over Cincinnati (13-16, 5-13 Big 12) by a final of 76-60 Saturday afternoon. ISU was led by a combined 30-point second half by Audi Crooks and Hannah Belanger to surge ahead of Cincinnati.

Audi Crooks
Cyclones.com

Cincinnati held a four-point lead at halftime but Iowa State overpowered the visitors in the third quarter, outscoring UC 28-9 to take back control. ISU held a second half shooting percentage of 64 percent to storm back and take the win. Iowa State shot 12 3-pointers, its ninth game with 10 or more.

Audi Crooks passed the mark of 500 points with a game-leading 22 for her 27th-straight double-digit scoring outing. Crooks is the 12th Cyclone to score 500-plus in a single season. Crooks made each of her first eight shots from the field, ending her day at 9-of-10 shooting. Crooks also notched a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Hannah Belanger made her senior day memorable totaling 17 points and four shots from beyond the arc including three in the third quarter.

Emily Ryan had 12 assists, her third game this season and 15th of her career with 10-plus. Ryan remained her versatile self also totaling eight rebounds, seven points and a blocked shot.

Addy Brown tallied the Cyclones’ first five points as the contest was brought to a 5-5 tie two minutes into play. After a 3-pointer by Ryan, Cincinnati tied it up once more at 10s midway through the opening frame. After an Iowa State lead of three, Cincinnati took a run of seven to go up 19-15. A Jalynn Bristow triple would break up the run, but Cincinnati answered with a deep shot of their own to end the quarter ahead 22-18.

The second would open with buckets by Bristow and Brown to knot up the score, while Belanger brought the lead back to ISU with a shot beyond the arc. Another lead change followed with Cincinnati building a lead of six, but back-to-back Crooks layups brought the Cyclones back within two (31-29). The game remained close as Bristow remained perfect from the field, hitting her second triple to make it 34-32, Cincinnati with 1:39 to go. UC would take a lead of 36-32 into halftime.

The Cyclones would tie the Bearcats at 36 after Crooks drew the foul and made a pair from the charity stripe, while Crooks sent in a layup on ISU’s next possession to grab the lead. Continuing to hold Cincinnati scoreless in the half, Belanger put in her second triple making it 41-36 and causing a UC timeout. Out of the timeout, Arianna Jackson tacked on another 3 to keep ISU rolling. Belanger ended the quarter with two 3-pointers as the Cyclones jumped in front 60-45.

Crooks passed the 20-point boundary as the freshman converted on the and-1 opportunity, bringing ISU’s lead to 65-48 with 6:40 on the clock. Iowa State never let the lead slip away, sealing the 16-point victory.

Top Performances
Audi Crooks went out to her 13th 20-plus point game with 22, while bringing in her seventh double-double with 10 rebounds. Crooks now totals 512 points on the season. Hannah Belanger put up her 14th double-digit scoring game of the season and 60th of her career with 17 points, with 12 off triples.

Notes
Iowa State women’s basketball’s all-time record moved to 845-663 (.560) and 332-351 (.486) all-time in conference games.
Head coach Bill Fennelly’s career record moved to 774-364 (.680). His Iowa State record is now 608-311 (.662) overall.
ISU’s series record with Cincinnati moves to 3-0 with all three wins coming under Bill Fennelly.
Iowa State finishes the regular season with an 18-10 overall record and 12-6 in conference play. The Cyclones were 13-2 in Hilton Coliseum contests.
With Addy Brown’s 3-pointer in the first quarter, Iowa State has now recorded a triple in an NCAA women’s basketball record 922 consecutive games.
Iowa State outrebounded Cincinnati, 32-28. It is the 24th time the Cyclones have outrebounded their opponent this season.
Emily Ryan has recorded an assist in every collegiate game she has played in. Today, she finished with 12 assists, moving her career total to 736. She has posted five or more assists in a single game 13 times this season and 81 times in her career.
With her assist total, Ryan is now just 10 assists from setting a new program record for career assists. Ryan has finished with over 100 dimes in each of her four collegiate seasons.
Jalynn Bristow and Kelsey Joens each scored their 150th career points.
Hannah Belanger has made a 3-pointer in 16-straight games. She finished her day with 17 points on four 3-pointers.
Audi Crooks tallied her 500th career point with a free throw in the third quarter. Crooks is the 12th Cyclone to record 500 points in a single season. Her season total moves to 512 points.
Crooks finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, her 13th 20-point performance and seventh double-double this season.
Finishing 9-of-10 from the floor, Crooks tied the fourth-best single game field goal percentage by a Cyclone freshman.

Up Next
Iowa State now moves to postseason play, heading to Kansas City for the Phillips’ 66 Big 12 Championship March 7-12. ISU’s seeding will be determined tomorrow afternoon at the conclusion of the Big 12 slate.

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